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Full text of "The Discovery Of The Child"

22                 THE DISCOVERY OF THE CHILD

will be disclosed by the experiment. It is also characteristic
of experimental science that an experiment should be approached
without preconceptions of any land about the eventual issue of
the experiment.

Anyone who experiments must for the moment get rid
of all prejudices, and formal education forms part of these
prejudices.

If then we wish to attempt experimental education, we must
not have recourse to kindred sciences, but must almost forget
them and clear the mind, so that it can proceed without any hind-
rance which will obscure the search for truth in the field belonging
exclusively to teaching itself.

We must not, therefore, start from ideas already accepted
about child psychology, but from a method which sets the child
at liberty, so that we may deduce from observation of his
spontaneous manifestations the real child psychology. Perhaps
this method holds great surprises in reserve!

This then is the problem—to establish its own method for
experimental teaching.

It cannot be that of other experimental sciences. If to some
extent scientific pedagogy is integrated with hygiene, anthropo-
logy and psychology, and even adopts in part the relative technique
in method, that is, limited to details in the study of the individ-
ual to be educated, needing to be kept parallel to the very differ-
ent work of education, it can only be a collateral contribution to
pedagogy.

My present study treats of the method of experimental
pedagogy. It is the result of the experience which I have
obtaiaed in infant schools, and in the first classes of elementary
schools,

I offer really only the beginning of the method, as I have
appKed it to children between the ages of three and six, but
I believe that this attempt, because of the surprising results